Divin' Deep: Some of the things MI Abaga showed us about working with Brands

Sep 26, 2019

Divin' Deep: Some of the things MI Abaga showed us about working with Brands
Divin' Deep: Some of the things MI Abaga showed us about working with Brands
Divin' Deep: Some of the things MI Abaga showed us about working with Brands
Divin' Deep: Some of the things MI Abaga showed us about working with Brands

The colour of the air changes when you have a big guest around. Before your big guest shows up into the room, everyone is purple with excitement. The reason they're coloured purple is that they're trying to restrain that excitement, which bursts out anyway.

There is a reason for that though. I mean, the way the smiles changed to broad laughter; MI Abaga made us laugh. But we are not here to laugh: Divin' Deep is for knowledge-sharing and OMG! Did we learn?

Hello o! Please, send me a private email to find out what it feels like to be star struck. Before we get to that point, here are some of the things we learnt from the legendary Nigerian rapper, MI Abaga:

Brand Custodians are not thinking in line with the consumers

You have probably seen MI on a billboard before. If you haven't, you would have read it in the news that the artist signed an endorsement deal with some brands. Well, looking back at some of his experiences working with brands, MI Abaga believes there's a disconnect between what brand owners think the audience wants and what audience actually want. This disconnect is why many campaigns fail. 

Most times, brand managers work with the wrong insights and false target profiles. So, when they do this, they end up getting out the wrong messages to the wrong people. Campaign ends with no impact. Money goes down the drain.

So, why do brand owners continue putting money where things won't work? 

MI explains that brand owners often exist in a different kind of bubble than the consumers. That is to say, shared experience between brand owners and consumers will improve the quality of decisions they make, thereby elevating the position of the brand in the consumer's minds.

Spectacular things will be noticed anyways

The rapper said there are too many things jostling for attention, but when your work is amazing, people will notice it. Ensuring that that work is noticed amidst this clutter requires proper hard work. 

MI uses the "purple cow" concept to buttress his point, citing examples of artists who particularly stand out because of the way they put in more work than anyone else, even though they have exceptional talents. 

The Chairman then tells us "I mean, I have worked all these years to be chairman, now you are putting me on the billboard to do [pose] like this." 

He is talking about how brand managers and marketing managers simply just want to get their products out. They don't care how, as long as the product appears everywhere like Jude's posters. The rapper recommends that brand managers wouldn't need to tell celebrities and influencers to pose this way and that with their products when the product is outstanding. 

So, is it not time for brand managers to spin the stories of their brand around the story of celebrities and influencers they want to use than to force the product into their hands? "Imagine a health insurance company footing the medical bill for one of these sick celebrities. Think about the impact that would have; it would definitely give the company more mileage than asking celebrities to pose with their products." MI said.

Brands should learn to take risks

We are used to brands not taking sides. They are neither here nor there. Once their statement feels like it could go awry, they'd rather not make the statement at all. This is cowardice, Jude Abaga hinted. 

So, when MI said brands should stand for something, everyone felt it. There's a lot more to gain when you stand for something than when you stand up for nothing. In this era, when target consumers are beginning to favour cause-driven companies than nonaligned companies, it makes perfect sense for you to stand for something because if you don't stand for something, you stand to gain nothing. 

In simple terms, where do you belong? Find your tribe.

MI left us more than just star-struck. He dropped gems that'd last us for years. Memories, you know. Our next Divin' Deep session is happening on Friday, September 27, 2019, and we are hosting Ayokunnu Ojeniyi, a technical assistant from the office of the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

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